Tips offered for driving in icy conditions

January 31, 2011

The Maryland State Highway Administration offers the following tips for driving in icy conditions:

  • Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.

  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.

  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.

  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.

  • Don’t use cruise control on icy roads.

  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

  • Don’t pass snowplows. Plow drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel-drive vehicles encounter trouble on icy roads.

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